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Human Evolution


Piltdown Man, The Ancestor Who Never WasPiltdown Man, The Ancestor Who Never Was
Between 1908 and 1912, parts of a skull and of a jawbone were found in a gravel pit at Piltdown in Sussex, England. Many scientists believed the remains to be from a form of human being who lived 250,000 years ago. In 1955, however, it was discovered that the entire find was a fake.
Australopithecus africanusAustralopithecus africanus
was first described by Raymond Dart in 1925. This ancestral human is notable because it was the first to show distinct evidence of an upright posture. Although most scientists agree that it belongs in the human evolutionary line, there is little agreement as to exactly where in the line it belongs.
Homo habilisHomo habilis
literally means "handy man." The species was so named because it was the first hominid to be associated with manufactured tools. It lived in Africa about 2.4 to 1.5 million years ago.
Oreopithecus bamboliiOreopithecus bambolii
lived about 7 to 9 million years ago in what are now the Tuscany and Sardinia regions of Italy. It probably stood about 4 feet tall, weighed about 66-77 pounds, had long arms, and was most likely a vegetarian. These are about the only "facts" agreed upon by most paleontologists.
Peking Man"Peking Man"
is the popular name for a pre-humanoid species that lived in what is now China between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago. Originally described in 1927 as belonging to a entirely new genus of apes, it is now recognized as being a subspecies of Homo erectus ("upright man").
Heidelberg Man (Homo heidelbergensis)"Heidelberg Man"
Arising in Africa about 780,000 years ago, Homo heidelbergensis appears to have flourished throughout Eurasia and Africa until about 126,000 years ago. It is believed that the species is the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

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